Obsidian Everywhere At Glass Buttes in Oregon!

There’s a place where reaching down and picking up fist sized chunks of obsidian is as easy as picking up apples off the ground in the fall. It’s called Glass Buttes and it’s located in central Oregon.

It’s not an exaggeration when they say the roads here literally glisten with obsidian, easily making it the largest and most diverse deposits of obsidian in the world!

Watch The Video

Ryan The Digger is quickly becoming one of my favorite rockhounding video creators. And I was happy to see that he visited Glass Buttes and documented his trip for us to see.

As you’ll see in the video, he was able to easily find all different types of obsidian before he even reached the actual site!…literally along the sides of the road! And while many people choose to dig for obsidian here, I liked Ryan’s tip of looking in the creek beds, where the soil is constantly being eroded. It clearly worked out well for him!

Read more about Glass Buttes here!

What Kind Of Obsidian You’ll Find At Glass Butte

There are many different types of obsidian you can find at Glass Butte.  However, the most common type of obsidian you’ll come across are black and banded obsidian. Below is a list of every type of obsidian that you could come across during your time at Glass Butte:

  • Jet Black
  • Banded
  • Brown
  • Green
  • Red Fire
  • Mahogany
  • Rainbow
  • Pumpkin
  • Midnight Lace
  • Gold Sheen
  • Silver Sheen
  • Several Double Flow Varieties

The History Of Glass Butte, Oregon

Volcanic Formation

Around 5 million years ago, there was a lot of volcanic activity in Oregon. You can see evidence of this by simply looking at the Cascade Mountain Range as well as all of the unique geological formations in the central part of the state.

During this time of volcanic activity, three different layers from three separate lava flows formed what we know as Glass Buttes.  And as magma flowed in this area, it cooled very rapidly. The result of this rapidly cooled, silica rich magma was obsidian.

And what we see today are the remnants of the ancient silicic volcanoes that have slowly been worn down by erosion over the millennia.

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